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Chapman Publishing - Alien Crop

Alien Crop - Janet Paisley


I am sieved through the mill; dust
in a wilderness laid bare
where the poor have no faces.
My sons look to me, their despair
feeding mouths that bite them.
The wheel turns. No assistance
beat their pens into ploughshares;
books pawned for chains. My resistance
the penance they pay.
I am finished. Hung bones, flesh thinned
by sheep fat on old grasses.
This southerly biting wind
strips down to rock – to the heart
scarred with words, rhythm, chords.
In my death song comes the art
from which my children draw swords.


"In Alien Crop, Janet Paisley's poems have an intensity that makes them shine with truth… she enters Sylvia Plath territory and emerges looking more honest and passionate than Plath. She can be winningly self-deprecating and deadly serious at the same time …"

– Books in Scotland

Janet Paisley’s poetry is never predictable, and is always moulded by her distinctive character. She confronts painful experience and difficult, intimate emotions with understanding and mischievous humour. She celebrates sensuality, but fully conveys the intricacies of relationships. Her starting point is a woman’s personal experience, but she speaks out about the real world, both its natural beauty and the suffering and joys of ordinary people. Alien Crop evaporated from the shelves when first published, hence this reprint – vintage Janet Paisley at her sensitive and authoritative best. She is one of the strongest and most forthright poets working in Scotland today. Her monologues Ye Cannae Win are also published by Chapman. Janet Paisley lives in Glen Village near Falkirk in central Scotland. A writer of 20 years standing, she also spent the last 15 raising her six sons as a single parent. Her work is prolific and diverse, spanning all disciplines and winning many prizes and awards. Her writing has been translated and published in Italy, Hungary, Poland, Russia and Mexico.

Dec 2004, 72pp, 215x140 mm, pbk, ISBN-10: 1-903700-09-4 / ISBN-13: 978-1-903700-09-9 £8.50 inc p&p